The Lifespan of a Fly

What We Lost

Doris Anderson

Doris Hilda Anderson, CBC: Life and Times

Last week I handed in an essay on Doris Hilda Anderson. If you’re a Canadian, and a woman, and you don’t know who she is, please do me a favour and quickly Google her. actually, you know what? Just click this and be re-directed to a Wikipedia page, because you really should know who she is and what she did for us. So, now that you’d read a little bit about her, aren’t you embarrassed to not know who she is?

Her autobiography “Rebel Daughter” was absolutely fascinating. It outlined her life growing up in Calgary, Alberta during the Great Depression and her continued fight against the status quo. Pretty much, you’re freaking lucky this lady was around, girls. Women have only really truly had their equal rights in Canada since 1981. Yeah, only thirty years have gone past and yet my own generation is completely in the dark about how it was. But I think we lost something when we gained feminism.

I think we lost an essential skill set: domestication. My own generation of women are, well, sort of useless. Oh sure, we hold down jobs and are good at things, but how many actually know how to cook? How many can cook without a recipe? How many of us bake? How many of us can sew? Yeah, not very many. And why would we have to? Dinner is a phone call away. You can have that pretty dress for the office Christmas party for $120, in all sizes and colours. This is capitalism, and this is feminism.

When we gained the freedom to pursue our own interests, we forgot how to do those things our grandmothers spent a life doing. So ladies, have we really helped ourselves? Or have we traded in our over mitts and sewing machines for computer screens and drive-thru? We have lost what made us the queens and conquerors of our homes. We have lost autonomy from mass-produced, capitalistic, shit.

So ladies, remember the women who lived through the Great Depression, who saw the fight for our freedom, and who watched us forget all about it… do them a favour, Ok? Let’s learn to do those skills that are taken for granted; that are needed, but unappreciated. Let’s learn how to do this stuff because if we don’t, we will never be able to gain back what we’ve lost.

Edit: We’ve already kicked men’s asses in the workforce, so let’s kick their asses at home again. Cool?


3 Comments so far
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I looooove this post.

Comment by J

Soooo, I enjoyed your post but I hafta say I am not at all disturbed by the fact that so many women today don’t excel at cooking, or sewing or baking or any of those other stereotypical womanly duties.
Women had to fight to be considered equal, had to fight to be able to get out of the kitchen and nursery and go in to the work force as something other then a secretary, nanny, teacher or domestic worker.
I don’t think it’s any great loss that I suck at sewing and need a recipe to cook dinner…who cares? I have great computer skills, I can compete for any job in my field and get paid an equal wage (well, almost equal lol). I am a 31 year old female who has travelled with friends and on my own, who boxes, goes dragon boating, enjoys a lifestyle my mother never would have been able to have and if the trade off for all the things I can do and experience is having mediocre cooking skills and no ability to hem a skirt well, I’m fine with that. 🙂
I would like to point out though, that I can bake better then anyone I know, one of my closest female friends whips up amazing meals on a whim and never uses a recipe, another close friend not only can sew but designs a clothing line and can create any article of clothing needed…so really, the sewing and cooking and baking skills haven’t disappeared, they have just been taken out of the limelight. Those are not the only things we women can do and we are finally getting recognition for our other abilities and skills.

Comment by shrinkingwmn

I think you may have missed what I was attempting to say. I quite obviously am so thankful for the generations of women who came before me that fought the battle for my freedom. I had nothing to do with that. It all came down to the women who sewed, cooked, baked, cleaned and raised their children. Now, with our world and our society where it is right now, having computer and job skills are excellent. But I ask you, what if the world changed tomorrow? What if tomorrow you couldn’t go through the McDonald’s drive-thru? What if you needed to make meals for your family, not because you wanted to, but because you had to. I’m not sure if I agree that trading one set of skills for another is right. Why can’t we have both? It’s wonderful that you’ve traveled, but so have so many single women in their thirties. What’s different about it? I’ve traveled too but I’m not going to use that as an excuse to not master another set of skills. I kick ass with computers, I can do home renos, I’m a writer, I’m an excellent cook, I’m a fledgling seamstress, I’m a wife, I’m very good at my job, I’m traveled, I speak two languages, but yet I still want to master the skills that have lasted for centuries, long before personal computers and the Internet.

If you choose not to master new (old) skills, that’s your choice. But when the zombie apocalypse comes, I’m not making you a coat.

Comment by Lifespan of a Fly

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